PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Taylor Pendrith will sleep well Sunday night after giving himself a chance to win the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am but presumably coming up just short.
Sitting at 12 under after a sterling 8-under 64 on Sunday afternoon at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the Canadian was an interesting storyline for most of the day, but when his last birdie putt dropped on the 15th hole, the 31-year-old became most likely a bit player with Justin Rose at 15 under and sitting in the middle of the 10th fairway.
“I was thinking, obviously, I needed a really low one to put myself I guess in the mix a little bit ... I felt like I played better than my score and just tried to stay patient and knew I was just going to make some birdies at some point,” Pendrith said of his approach, which will be good enough for a top 10 and likely better after the dust settles Monday.
“I knew the back nine was going to play really tough with the wind today, most of the holes were into the wind, so got as many as I could on the front nine and had some really nice shots on the back nine into the wind and was able to make the putts.”
Pendrith hasn't won on the PGA Tour and has not recorded a top 10 since the BMW Championship last August when he finished T8, but after a missed cut at the American Express and a T60 at the Farmers Insurance Open that included a 77 on the South course, Pendrith was looking for some help, which came via his longtime coach Derek Ingram.
Early in the week, Pendrith worked with Ingram on getting his driver back to hitting a fade and getting more control off the tee.
“Palm Springs, I drove it not very well,” Pendrith said. “Torrey Pines, thought it played really nicely considering where it was, so this week it was just get back to the basics and just trying to get back to the numbers where I feel comfortable and see the ball drop right.”
Hitting fairways was the key this week and now he must wait and see what happens on Monday as he will be a interested bystander at Pebble.
There were only three players in front of him when the horn blew on Sunday—Rose, Denny McCarthy and Brendon Todd—and three players tied with him. That makes his chances of a playoff slim, but when the day began Pendrith had little chance and now he’s playing with house money.
"I knew my game was close," he said. "Today, things clicked. I made a ton of putts and hit some really nice shots when I needed to and off the tee, I was good.”